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Waste Less Food: How Your Receipt Can Save You $2200 a Year

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You’re already getting some savings at the grocery store,

but you are not getting as much as you want.

You may think you just don’t have enough time to plan or cut

coupons, but don’t get bummed out yet. . .

Your memory may be working AGAINST you.


There are five ways to use your

grocery receipt to save on food when it’s in

your fridge.  If you deny it, you’ll lose out on the savings you deserve.

I’ll confess. I’m inappropriately happy about getting a deal at the grocery store.

However, the reality is, most Americans waste about 25% of the food they

purchase every year according to the book, American Wasteland.

This can total up to $2200 a year. Think of all the time writing list after list and

perhaps cutting coupons only to have that savings thrown in the garbage can.

Why lose money when we work so hard for it? I came up with a technique to

help you waste less. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to implement.


More specifically, here’s the simple approach I follow:

1. After purchasing my groceries, I’m conscious of what I put in the fridge and what I put in the freezer. My husband and I sometimes forget and put meat in the refrigerator.

The week slips by and we don’t cook it right away. It goes bad. We have to throw it out.  We were making this mistake frequently. We’d end up throwing out a major source of protein for the week. Our rule is, if you don’t cook it today, freeze it for later.

2. Once everything is put away, we put our grocery receipt on the fridge. I refer to it as the Receipt Reference Technique™ . It serves as an informal inventory of what is inside.

It lets everyone in the house know what was purchased at the store.  So if anyone asks, what is there to eat, they can check the receipt. It takes the work out of searching for items to eat. This helps to not waste food.

3. The receipt serves another purpose, it reminds you of the expiration date and serves as a constant reminder to finish the food before it spoils. No more sniff testing, wondering whether or not food is still good.

4. Once you are completely out of an item, put a check next to it on the receipt. This will indicate that it’s no longer there. This will let everyone know something isn’t available before they even open the fridge.

5. Once several checks start to appear on the receipt, you know you need to go shopping again. The receipt serves yet another purpose. It now becomes your grocery list.

Any additional items you need can be written on the back. You don’t have to waste extra time writing a list.
If you found this free information useful, you should share it with your friends. That’s reasonable, right?

10 responses to “Waste Less Food: How Your Receipt Can Save You $2200 a Year

  1. This is such a genius idea. Just shared on Twitter – and with my husband. We’ve tried really hard to waste less food (and money) this year through better meal planning, but just had to toss an expired pound of organic grassfed beef last week and were both heartbroken and beating ourselves up for being so stupid/dumb/lazy/younameit. Definitely trying this trick after next week’s shopping trip. Fingers crossed, thanks!

  2. Great tip! I do this and the best part is being able to remember how much things “should” cost. So I always know if something is a good deal or a complete rip-off.

  3. I like the idea of posting a list on the fridge to reduce waste. I don’t use a receipt, but write out a list of the things that spoil easily. I buy a lot of veggies and the list helps me keep track of what I need to cook.

  4. Great tip! My wife’s grocery receipts tend to be overly-long, but with only a little bit of clipping I’m sure this would work, and be a huge help to her!

  5. Awesome!

    I already have a white board on the fridge on which I jot down needed groceries. Might start using this receipt method and the white board in tandem to streamline the whole process. I can see it leading to developing a proper food schedule. One of my strong dislikes is seeing wasted food. Having the “true cost” of food right there in sight will be awesome too.

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